Computer terms are very diversified and getting “sophisticated” as the technology of the internet becomes more and more advanced. Therefore I’ll list below some useful computer terms by alphabetical order:
ADSL: Short for asymmetric digital subscriber line, a new technology that allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines.
Affiliate: An affiliate is a person or company that advertises and promotes other companies products in order to make a sale. Sometimes you can lead customers to the company website, and if a product is sold you will receive an agreed share of the sale price. Popular affiliate sites include Clickbank.com and Ebay.com.
AGP: (AcceleratedGraphicsPort) is usually located near the white PCI slots on a Motherboard. This is where you install a video card for better graphical performance. Most motherboards now come with onboard sound and video which is top quality, however when you install AGP video it removes pressure from the computers resources.
Application Software: Or simply application is a computer program that performs tasks that the user wishes to perform. It could be Microsoft word and you might use it to write a letter or Adobe Photoshop to edit a photo.
Animation: A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures, or frames. All of these pictures put together can make a computer animated gif, which will be a moving picture. You can also animate writing, banners, and even entire websites. A cartoon on television is one example of an animation.
Attachment: file attached to an e-mail message. For example you could attach a picture to send with your e-mail.
Auto responder is an e-mail utility that automatically replies to an e-mail message with a prewritten response.
Autostart This is when a program or application starts without you having to double click on the icon to start. For example, if you insert a CD into the CD drive on your computer it could be set to autostart. If it is it will automatically open the disc to view or start the program it holds. You can also plug your digital camera in and a program will appear to extract the photos from the camera. This means that the program was set to auto start if a camera was attached to the computer.
Broadband: This usually refers to a high speed internet connection like DSL or cable. To use this connection you would also need a broadband modem. Broadband is a far cry from the good old Dialup internet.
Bios: Basic input output system. You can access this when you start-up a computer. It will say on the screen “To enter setup press …..Key”. It lets you change whether the CD-ROM or hard drive boots first. There are also settings to over clock some computer systems.
Bit: (binary digit) this is the smallest unit of information on a machine and can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1. Consecutive bits can be combined to form larger units such as a byte (8 bits = 1 byte).
Boot sequence: The order of drives that a system’s BIOS follows when looking for the operating system. For example it can go to the hard drive, the floppy drive, or the CD ROM
Broadcast: To simultaneously send the same message to multiple recipients. Broadcasting is a useful feature in e-mail systems
Browser: A program to allow you to view and browse web pages on the internet. I use Internet Explorer.
Bandwidth: This is the term we use to measure the amount of data and its speed through an internet connection. The more bandwidth you have, the faster the internet connection. Bandwidth is limited by the line it travels through. Your internet service provider can reduce or increase your bandwidth according to you internet plan.
Capacity: (hard drive capacity) basically means what size is the hard drive, how much data can it hold, etc. “My hard drive capacity is 500GB.”
Case Sensitive: A term used to describe if it is of importance to use upper or lower case letters.
Computer: This general term for all the included components that make up a computer. When people say the word computer they generally mean the whole system.
Cookie: A text information message that is stored on your computer when you visit a web page. When you return to the page the cookie is used to recognize you.
CPU: (Central Processing unit) This is the brains of the computer. It is a chip attached to the motherboard and controls and calculates data and is a vital part of your computer. Sometimes known as the Processor, the CPU comes in different speeds. I have a 2.8 GHz processor.
CTRL: Stands for control button. Found on both sides, bottom left and right, of the keyboard. Used to perform special functions such as selecting all (Ctrl-A).
Data: A collection of facts, information, photos, text, anything, on a computer or on the internet.
Desktop: It is everything you see when you start your computer except the taskbar. Your desktop has the icons on it that are shortcuts to programs and folders.
Desktop Background: A picture or graphic you display on your computer desktop (screen). If you have icons on your desktop the background will be behind these.
Download: To download something is to get it from the internet to your computer through your internet connection. For example, when you receive email to your computer the new emails are downloaded from your mail server. Now days people download everything including documents, information, music files, movies, games, cracks, cheats, and more... To upload is the opposite of download.
Ergonomic office chair: This refers to a chair purposely designed to fit the comfort needs of the user with considerations such as surrounding environment taken into account.
Email Server: An email server collects your email and delivers it to your chosen email client; same with sending an email. It gets taken to the email server to distribute to the appropriate email recipient. It is a bit like a post office in the real world and the email client is your letter box.
Email Client: An email client is a program that lets you read, create emails, send, reply to, read, and manage your emails. Some examples of Email Clients include Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Incredimail, Pegasus and many others.
File: In the old days a file used to be a section category that was kept in a filing cabinet, however now we have less paper to file away. Now the term file can mean anything on your computer. Everything on your computer is made up of files. Folders and directories have files stored in them. Programs are made up of certain files that make the program work. A file on a computer can mean any file unless you specify which type. For example there are music files, picture files, system files, and so on.
File Extension: A file extension classifies what category a file falls into. If it has .txt as a file extension then you know it is a text file. If it has .jpeg it is a picture.
Firewall: A personal firewall is a computer program that protects your computer from malicious users by blocking incoming and outgoing unauthorized access. Windows Xp comes with a built in firewall.
Format: (Hard drive, re-writeable disks) to clear of all data. Clean to the original state of empty. A hard drive has to be formatted and partitioned to install an operating system. It can also mean to format text by changing the font, color and size.
Forward: Forward is an option found in an e-mail client, which allows you to forward a received e-mail to another recipient?
Forum: This is a member based website, usually free to join, where people gather to chat and converse on a particular subject. Forums can be used as a very useful learning tool for most subjects as people share their knowledge and experiences with others.
Gigabyte: 1 gigabyte = 1,000,000,000 bytes for hard drive capacity or 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes for computer memory and files sizes.
Hardware: The basic parts that make up your computer.
Html: (hyper text markup language) this is coding used to develop WebPages. You can start from scratch, writing html or you can use a html editor like FrontPage that has a template to start with.
IP Address: A unique address that each computer has. If you have a home network your modem will have an ip address, so will your router, and any computers that are attached.
ISP: (Internet service provider) Your ISP is the company that supplies your internet connection to you. It could be a local phone company or even a pay TV company. You internet service provider usually sends you a bill for your internet connection.
Keypad: The set of numbers on the right hand side of the keyboard.
Message Rules: Rules that you can set in Outlook Express to filter your email messages.
Motherboard: The central circuit board that provides electrical connections so the other components of a computer can communicate with each other. It is the main part to a computer. Everything is connected to it.
Organic Search: Search results in a search engine that that come up naturally and are not paid advertisements. For example if you search for “computer tips” in Google you will see this website in the top 10 results.
OS: (Operating System) is the main program that runs your computer. Windows is probably the most popular.
OSK: On screen keyboard. Windows has a built in OSK. You can type OSK in the run command window and it will appear.
Page Impressions: This can also be known as Page Hits or Page Views. This measures the number of times a webpage is visited. This is also a broad term and can be further categorized into unique visitors and page loads.
Peripherals: Peripherals are those pieces of hardware that you add on to your computer. For example a mouse, keyboard, modem, monitor, etc.
PCI: (peripheral component interconnect) these are slots on the motherboard, usually white, where you can add cards onto your computer. You can add soundcards, internal modems, TV cards, and more…
Power Supply: This is a component of the computer that supplies power to all of the other components. You plug power into the back of the computer.
Print Screen (Key): The key between the letters and the keypad labelled “Prt Sc/Sys Rq”. Commonly used to take photographs of the screen.
Partition: When you divide your hard drive into parts, each section of data is called a partition. A hard drive must have at least one partition on it for Windows to be installed.
Remote Desktop: This feature enables you to connect to your computer across the Internet from virtually any computer anywhere. You need to know your computers IP address and its password and username.
Registry: This is where the very important settings for your computer are stored. This includes software serial numbers and passwords, email settings and accounts and a lot more information.
Safe mode: When you computer is started in safe mode the computer loads only the files necessary to run the basic Windows services. It is the NO-frills version of Windows, which allows you to diagnose problems by process of elimination.
Screenshot: A photograph of a computer screen or a portion of it.
Screen Resolution: It refers to the amount of pixels (little colored dots) you have on your screen. The most popular resolution nowadays is 1024×768. That suits a 17 inch monitor perfectly. If you set your screen resolution to 800×600 the writing will be bigger and easier to see.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The art of optimizing your web site for the search engines.
Shareware: Shareware is a software program that you can download or try for free, usually for a set trial period. After that time is up you can buy the software program to continue using it. A lot of software is sold this way as the user gets attached to using the program and ends up buying it.
Snail mail:Normal postal mail, where an actual physical letter or package is delivered. The term didn’t exist until electronic mail (e-mail) came along.
Software: Refers to all of the programs on your computer. Software helps you get things achieved, like writing letters, sending emails, and surfing the internet.
System Properties Box Contains information about your computer. What speed is your processor, how much memory you have, automatic updates settings, your computer name, and more..
Task Bar: The Blue (default colour) bar with the start button on one end and the time on the opposite
Task Manager: A program (taskman.exe) in which you can view all running programs and services. You can also shutdown a program non-responding program from here.
The Trojan computer virusnamed so after the Trojan horse of mythology. It does the same thing. It slyly gets into your computer and releases its soldiers when you least expect it.
Tweak: To make small changes that fine-tune a piece of software or hardware. There are many programs that help you do this. For example XP tools, Tweak u, Ashampoo.
URL: Universal Resource Locator is the global address of a web page or document. Domain names are used in URL’s. Example: http://www.google.com.
Virus: A man made file that infects a computer in order to sabotage its files.
Wallpaper: The monitor pattern or picture or other graphic representation that forms the background onto which all the icons, menus and other elements of the operating system are displayed.
Web Server: A computer that holds a web page and makes it available on the internet.
Web Host: A web server that hosts web site space on the internet to companies or individuals. Basically you pay a web server to use their space to host your website. When a visitor requests a webpage from that site, the request will be sent to the web server that is hosting the site.
Wireless router: The router converts the signals coming across your Internet connection into a wireless broadcast, sort of like a cordless phone base station.
Youtube: Worlds largest video sharing website. Free to join, upload, and watch.
Yahoo: A global internet services company. It operates an Internet portal and provides a full range of products including email, search, chat, and more…
Zip: a zip file is a compressed file that may contain one or more files compressed into it for better storage. Compressing a file makes it smaller in size and therefore takes up less space. It is like a storage box. You can unzip or unpack the zip file to see the contents of it. Zip files can be compressed or decompressed using a computer program like Winzip or Winrar.